Description: As the leading public university in a state with unique cultural and historic links to Latin America, the University of California at Berkeley (UCB) offers an extensive, engaging program of study on Latin America. Since its foundation in 1958, the Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) is an Organized Research Unit within International and Area Studies (IAS) which coordinates all Latin America-related activities at UCB, and sparks enthusiasm for the field through an ambitious program of events and activities.
Mission: The Center aims to increase understanding and appreciation of Latin American peoples, cultures and politics through its dynamic program of public events, and to foster an active community of Latin Americanist scholars and students on the Berkeley campus. We encourage the development and dissemination of innovative research and teaching materials, and promote a curricular focus on Latin America both through courses taught in a variety of campus departments, and the interdisciplinary teaching program in Latin American Studies (LAS).
Degree programs: In addition to the Master of Arts (M.A.) and Ph.D. degrees offered through the LAS program, undergraduate and graduate degrees with a regional emphasis are offered throughout the Colleges of Letters and Science and Natural Resources, and in a variety of professional schools.
Language and discipline coverage: UCB currently offers 284 non-language courses with Latin Americanist material in 22 departments and programs, as well as nine professional schools. Language instruction is available through 115 course offerings in Spanish and Portuguese, and Nahuatl instruction is also available and will be expanded to a second level in the near future.
Library: UCB maintains an outstanding library system that combines traditional collections with the latest advances in online technology. Ranked first among public university libraries and third among all libraries in the United States, UCB s collection includes approximately 450,000 bound volumes, and 800 serial subscriptions covering Latin America.
Faculty: The recent appointments of six Latin Americanists bring new strength to an internationally renowned body of faculty and scholars. The Latin Americanist faculty at UCB have won numerous fellowships, book awards, and national honors. UCB faculty have won the LASA Bryce Wood Book Award more times than faculty at any other institution. In addition to their outstanding records as scholars, UCB's Latin Americanists are integral at CLAS. Ongoing searches in Spanish and Portuguese and History promise to continue the tradition of excellence.
Outreach: The Center maintains a rich program of cultural, outreach, development, and community activities related to Latin America. CLAS contributes to the Office of Resources in International and Area Studies, a UCB initiative providing seminars to enhance K-12 education. CLAS works with the Interactive University project to promote the study of Latin America through increased collaboration with middle and high school teachers. CLAS also partners with business and community organizations to reach audiences beyond the campus community.
Enhancement activities unique to CLAS: CLAS organizes an innovative series of seminars featuring public intellectuals, political leaders, and scholars from Latin America. We convene high-profile conferences that strengthen ties between UCB and Latin America while contributing to an increasingly international dialogue on Latin American affairs. Our faculty and students benefit immeasurably from the opportunity to interact with scholars and leaders from the region. These extensive teaching, research, and outreach activities enable UCB to contribute to current national and international dialogues concerning Latin America and to provide faculty, students, and the general public with a deeper understanding of the region. Title VI funding will allow us to expand and enrich our program, moving into new and exciting directions.